Quantum Computing and Telesurgery Seen as New Areas to be supported by Research Infrastructures

2 Jan 2024 11:02 AM

Group photo of all speakers and guests during the 3rd Joint PREGINET and COARE Stakeholders; Meeting

Quezon City, Philippines, 02 January 2024 – During the recently concluded 3rd Joint PREGINET and COARE Stakeholders’ Meeting, the presentations, discussions, and launch of the ARENA-PAC link directly connecting the Philippines’ research and education network to Guam, brought to the fore exciting new areas that would potentially change the game in terms of how research and innovation activities are done.

One such area is post-quantum cryptography (PQC). Prof. Jun Murai shared that PQC is an important research area in quantum computing that addresses information security systems. Prof. Murai said, “this kind of activity can be achieved by 2030, but we have to be ready by 2025”. He mentioned about the collaborative initiative that was started among the Widely Integrated Distributed Environment (WIDE) Project and other network groups, which is called Quantum internet. Prof. Murai explained, “Quantum internet is basically a distributed computing and data sharing mechanism for quantum computing clusters, which requires a lot of resources. What the group started so far is creating the testbed, and we invite different researchers and academe to test their quantum-related research on this testbed. We want to start this initially in Japan and eventually extending this to the Asia Pacific region.”

Another emerging area is Telesurgery. Prof. Murai emphasized that in the past, medical and health activities have been very much protected because of privacy concerns when it comes to data sharing. Utilizing high speed networks and supercomputing resources for these activities would be a good opportunity to address both the data sharing requirements and data privacy concerns.

These new areas signify the global expansion of research and education networks. In the Philippines, supercomputing resources and high-speed networks that support research and academic activities have focused on agriculture, health, and disaster mitigation activities. Particularly for rice research and disaster activities, Prof. Murai said that these have been the core focus of the great collaboration between Japan and the Philippines. He further stressed the importance of research infrastructures, saying “research infrastructures are the drivers of innovation. In the USA and European region, there is a strong support for building and expanding research infrastructures. In the Asia Pacific region, this is what ARENA-PAC is trying to do, provide the same regional support for research infrastructures.”

On this note, ASTI Director Franz De Leon shared how the continued support and investment for these science infrastructures align with the broader mission of DOST and its efforts to advanced science and technology in the Philippines. He said, “the current state of the Philippines is that we are a technology adopter, which means that most of the technologies that we usually utilize come from elsewhere. But we, being in R&D, want to elevate that by contributing towards the global scientific community through more value-adding activities such as data sharing, technology and application development, and building and expanding the internet landscape.” Dr. De Leon also stressed that aside from investing in the physical infrastructure and technology development, it is important to invest in people, saying that, “we want to elevate how research and development are translated to actual usage and utilization of our countrymen, so that's really the impact that we hope to achieve in the future.”



ARENA-PAC is a backbone network currently composed of several 100Gbps circuits linking Tokyo, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore to a central hub in Guam. More countries are expected to join in the future.

The ARENA-PAC project is funded by the Asia Pacific Development Trust (APIDT). It is being operated by the WIDE Project of Japan with the support of the Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC).